What Is Restorative Practice?
Restorative Practice is a way of thinking and being that cultivates community, supporting well-being and achievement. Restorative Practice fosters the conditions that promote a positive sense of self, spirit and belonging. Restorative Practice provides a framework to maintain community when challenges and conflicts arise and to restore community when needed.
There are nine interconnected elements upon which Restorative Practice is based. These elements (i.e., healthy relationships, voice, fair process, structure and support, safety, empathy and perspective-taking, ownership, learning, belonging and interdependence) provide the foundation to cultivate caring and healthy communities.
A Tiered Approach To Restorative Practice
A tiered approach to Restorative Practice supports well-being and achievement by, first, cultivating a strong, healthy community for all, including students, school staff, parents and the broader school community; second, maintaining community when challenges and conflicts arise; and third, restoring community when needed.
Restorative Conversations: Restorative conversations are impromptu discussions that seek to address concerns using restorative language. Restorative questions, such as those shown here, are often used to guide conversations.
Responsive Circles: Responsive circles aim to address concerns that impact members of the community. Responsive circles use specific questions to explore the concern, providing members the opportunity to use their voice to express their feelings and needs, and how they think the group should move forward.
Small Conferencing: A small conference involves bringing together those who have been impacted by an incident, using a structured process based on restorative questions, to determine what is needed to make things right.